Bomb: The Race to Build–and Steal–the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon

Title: Bomb: The Race to Build–and Steal–the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon
Author: Steve Sheinkin
Publisher: Flash Point, September 4, 2012
ISBN: 596434872
Rating: 5/5 stars


2012 National Book Awards finalist for Young People’s Literature

2013 NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K—12

2013 YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults Winner

2012 SLJ Best Children’s Books, Nonfiction

2012 Horn Book Fanfare, Nonfiction

2012 Bulletin Blue Ribbon, Nonfiction;

2012 VOYAs Perfect Tens

2103 Newbery Medal Honor Book

2013 Robert F. Sibert Medal Winner

2012 Cybils Award Winner, Nonfiction for Tweens and Teens

2013 ALSC Notable Children’s Books, Middle Readers

2013 NCSS Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People, World History & Culture


This book is a must read for boys and girls across the nation.  Steve Sheinkin expertly takes the reader on one of the most intense races of their reading life, walking chronologically through a window of history.  With its brief sentences and action-capturing photographs, Sheinkin teaches even the youngest middle schoolers the basic evolution of the atomic bomb including the scientific details.  No detail is spared, yet the reader is not overwhelmed with information too challenging to digest.  This book will appeal to history buffs, science geeks and adventure junkies.  The non-fiction book reads just as an exciting novel, keeping the reader guessing as to how the details will pan out and would be a perfect segue for young readers from fiction to non-fiction.  Constantly wondering if the other countries will beat America to the atomic bomb solution, the reader unknowing finds themselves absorbing and understanding complex scientific facts and a fully comprehensive history lesson about World War II.  Steve Sheinkin creates characters with whom the reader creates a connection; readers who worry if their favorite character will succomb to the pressures of espionage or actually get caught by authorities.  Readers cannot turn the pages fast enough.  This book is a great addition to any history classroom, creating a connection between the reader and the actual events of history.

Review Excerpt:

“In his highly readable storytelling style, Sheinkin (The Notorious Benedict Arnold) weaves together tales of scientific and technological discovery, back-alley espionage, and wartime sabotage in a riveting account of the race to build the first atomic weapon.” Publisher’s Weekly

Connections: Create a time line of World War II from different points of view. Use this book as one of your resources.


2014 “Bomb: The Race to Build – and Steal – the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon.” Junior Library Guild.

13 August 2012. “Bomb: The Race to Build – and Steal – the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon.” Publisher’s Weekly.

Sheinkin, Steve. 2012. Bomb: The Race to Build – and Steal – the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon. New York: Roaring Brook Press.


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